Father’s Day is around the corner – June 17 – and Kovels suggests skipping the tie this year – buy Dad a gift that is unique, old or vintage. Head to a local antiques mall, flea market or even the Internet to find a one-of-a-kind antique or collectible that relates to his job, hobby or interest. Here are 5 ideas to get you started.

1.  A fishing reel. A vintage fishing reel is a great gift for the angler in your family. This is a Shakespeare Marhoff GE baitcasting reel. In 1906, the Marhoff Reel Co. was granted a patent for an improved baitcasting fishing reel. The Shakespeare Co. began making the improved reels in 1907. This model was designed in 1946. Price: $109 in an online shop.

2.  A letter opener. Letter openers have been used since the 18th century. Silver, bronze or ivory were favored by the well-to-do. They can be practical and simple, artistic or ornate, and a stylish addition to a desk or workspace. This c.1930 English brass letter opener in the shape of an owl is the perfect vintage accessory for a wise old Dad. It’s 7 inches long and we found it in an online shop for $119.

3.  A cane or walking stick. For the Dad who needs just a little extra support or wants to look just a little more dapper, how about a cool cane? The first cane was probably just a strong stick, but by the 19th century a cane was a fashion accessory and sometimes even hid a tool. The heads of canes were made of wood, ivory, gold or silver, leather, pewter or porcelain, sometimes with inlay and precious gems. This cane with a carved bird’s head handle is made of maple is pictured in Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2018 and sold for $885 at a Pennsylvania auction.

4.  A paperweight. If your Dad is in banking or finance, this vintage paperweight in the form of a pile of gold coins may be just the thing. It was made by the Johnson Bronze Company of New Castle, Pennsylvania, and given as a promotion to customers. The fake coins depict presidents and captains of industry, some with quotes. On the back is an inset decal with the message, “Your friendship is more precious than a Pile O’ Gold.” It’s 5 1/2 inches wide and sold for $48 at an auction in New Jersey.

5.  A pipe. Does Dad enjoy an occasional smoke? Smoking accessories from pipes and humidors to cigar cutters and lighters are available in every price range. This beautiful folk art pipe, pictured in Kovels’ Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2018 , is carved to resemble a Civil War soldier with a bushy beard. It brought $660 at an Ohio auction.


Happy Father’s Day! Grandfathers, too!


As a special Father’s Day gift to our readers, order Kovels Antiques & Collectibles Price Guide 2018 and get 3 free gifts:

1. Kovels Price Book 2018 companion eBook with all of the prices from the 2018 print edition right on your eReader.

2. A bookplate personally autographed by author Terry Kovel.

3. A booklet on the “Top Ten Fakes that Fooled the Experts.”